Can Vrbo Rentals Have Cameras?

More and more travelers are turning to vacation rental sites like VRBO to book accommodations for getaways instead of hotels. But before you book your next rental, you may be wondering about your privacy – specifically, can the rental owner put cameras inside the property you’re staying in?

It’s an important question to ask.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: Owners can install cameras outside the rental property, but putting cameras inside bedrooms, bathrooms, or other private living spaces violates VRBO policy and could get the listing removed if reported by guests.

There are a few exceptions, so read on for more nuance around VRBO’s camera and privacy policies.

VRBO’s Stance on Cameras in Rentals

When it comes to cameras in VRBO rentals, the platform has established clear guidelines to protect the privacy and security of both guests and hosts. VRBO, which stands for Vacation Rentals by Owner, recognizes the importance of maintaining a safe and comfortable environment for all parties involved.

Outside Surveillance Allowed

VRBO allows hosts to have outdoor surveillance cameras on their property, as long as they are disclosed in the property listing and their purpose is clearly stated. This transparency ensures that guests are aware of the presence of outdoor cameras and can make an informed decision when booking a rental.

These outdoor cameras are often used to monitor the perimeter of the property, deter trespassers, or enhance security measures. By allowing hosts to have outdoor surveillance, VRBO aims to provide an extra layer of protection for both guests and their belongings.

Indoor Cameras Restricted

On the other hand, VRBO strictly prohibits hosts from having indoor cameras in their rentals. This policy is in place to safeguard the privacy of guests and prevent any potential misuse of surveillance devices.

VRBO understands that guests value their privacy and want to ensure that they can enjoy their stay without any concerns.

While indoor cameras are not allowed, hosts can still maintain the security of their rentals through other means, such as using keyless entry systems or installing security alarms. These alternative measures offer peace of mind to both hosts and guests, without compromising privacy.

It’s important to note that VRBO takes violations of its camera policy seriously. If a guest discovers undisclosed indoor cameras during their stay, they can report the issue to VRBO, who will investigate the matter and take appropriate action to address the situation.

State Laws Around Recording Devices Vary

When it comes to vacation rentals and the use of recording devices, such as cameras, state laws vary across the United States. It is important for both hosts and guests to understand the legal implications and privacy concerns before using or encountering cameras in VRBO rentals.

Two-Party Consent States

In certain states, known as two-party consent states, it is illegal to record audio or video without the consent of all parties involved. This means that hosts are required to inform guests about any recording devices in the rental property and obtain their explicit consent.

Failure to comply with these laws can result in legal consequences.

Two-party consent states include California, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Washington, among others. In these states, hosts must clearly disclose the presence of recording devices in their VRBO listings and obtain written consent from guests.

One-Party Consent States

On the other hand, there are one-party consent states where only one party needs to give consent for recording conversations or activities. In these states, hosts are not legally obligated to inform guests about recording devices.

One-party consent states include New York, Texas, Nevada, and Georgia, among others. In these states, hosts have the right to use cameras in their VRBO rentals without informing guests, as long as they are not recording in areas where guests have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as bedrooms or bathrooms.

It is worth noting that even in one-party consent states, it is generally considered good practice for hosts to inform guests about the presence of cameras for transparency and to maintain a positive guest experience.

It is important to consult the specific laws of the state in which the VRBO rental is located to ensure compliance with recording device regulations. Hosts and guests should familiarize themselves with these laws to protect their privacy rights and avoid any legal issues.

For more information about state laws on recording devices, you can visit and

How to Spot if a Rental Has Cameras

When it comes to vacation rentals, privacy is a top concern for many travelers. The last thing anyone wants is to discover that their every move is being monitored by hidden cameras. While most vacation rental owners prioritize their guests’ privacy, it’s always a good idea to be cautious and take some steps to ensure your safety.

Here are some tips on how to spot if a rental has cameras:

Check Listing Photos Closely

One of the first things you can do to determine if a rental has cameras is to carefully examine the listing photos. Look for any suspicious objects that could potentially be cameras. Keep an eye out for small, inconspicuous devices that might blend in with the surroundings.

Additionally, pay attention to any unusual angles or perspectives in the photos that could suggest the presence of surveillance equipment. While this method is not foolproof, it can help you identify any obvious red flags.

Do an In-Person Inspection Before Unpacking

If you want to be absolutely sure that a rental doesn’t have hidden cameras, consider doing an in-person inspection before unpacking. This can be done by requesting a tour of the property from the host or property manager.

During the inspection, be on the lookout for any suspicious-looking objects or unusual features that could potentially house hidden cameras. Check common areas like bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces, as well as less obvious locations such as smoke detectors, wall outlets, or decorative items.

Remember: It’s important to approach the situation with respect and ask for permission before conducting any inspections. Most reputable hosts will understand your concerns and accommodate your request.

By taking these precautionary measures, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’ve done your due diligence in ensuring your privacy during your vacation rental stay.

What to Do if You Find a Camera

Discovering a hidden camera in your vacation rental can be an unsettling experience, but it’s important to stay calm and take appropriate action. Here are some steps you can follow if you find a camera during your stay:

Report it to VRBO

The first thing you should do is report the incident to VRBO, the vacation rental platform you booked through. They take guest safety and privacy seriously, and they will want to address the issue promptly. Contact their customer support team and provide them with all the details of the situation.

This will not only help you protect your own privacy but also help prevent others from experiencing the same discomfort.

Involve Local Authorities if Needed

If you suspect that the presence of the camera is a violation of privacy or if you find any evidence of illegal activities, it is crucial to involve the local authorities. Contact the local police department and inform them about the situation.

They will be able to guide you on the appropriate steps to take and may conduct an investigation if necessary.

Note: It’s important to remember that cameras in vacation rentals are not necessarily illegal. Some hosts may have security cameras installed in common areas for the safety of their guests. However, hidden cameras in private spaces, such as bedrooms or bathrooms, are a violation of privacy.

Being proactive and taking the necessary steps will help ensure your safety and privacy during your vacation rental experience. Remember to always be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities.

How to Protect Your Privacy

When booking a vacation rental through VRBO, one concern that may come to mind is the presence of cameras in the rental property. While it is not common for VRBO rentals to have cameras, it is always important to prioritize your privacy and take necessary precautions.

Here are some tips to help you protect your privacy when renting through VRBO:

Communicate Expectations Upfront

Before finalizing your booking, it is essential to communicate with the property owner or manager about your privacy concerns. Ask them directly if there are any cameras on the premises and if so, where they are located.

It is crucial to have a clear understanding of the privacy policies in place and ensure that they align with your expectations. By discussing this matter upfront, you can avoid any potential misunderstandings and have peace of mind during your stay.

Scan Using Your Phone Camera

One handy tip to check for hidden cameras is to use your smartphone’s camera. Turn off the lights in the room and sweep your phone around the area. The camera lens on your phone will reflect light differently than other objects, making it easier to spot hidden cameras.

This simple technique can help give you peace of mind and ensure your privacy is protected.

Look For Unusual Objects

While it is not common to find hidden cameras in VRBO rentals, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Take a moment to inspect the rental property upon arrival and look for any unusual objects that could potentially hide a camera.

Pay attention to smoke detectors, alarm clocks, or even decorative items that seem out of place. If something looks suspicious, notify the property owner or manager immediately.

Remember, the vast majority of VRBO rentals prioritize guest privacy, and the chances of encountering hidden cameras are extremely rare. By following these tips and openly communicating with property owners, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable vacation rental experience.


While indoor cameras that invade guest privacy violate VRBO’s rules, as a renter you do need to be proactive about checking for any unauthorized recording devices just to be safe. If you do find an indoor camera, report it immediately to protect yourself and future guests.

With a bit of awareness and caution, vacation rental stays can still be an excellent lodging choice.

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